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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

THE REFORMATION AND EDUCATION      207

attend assiduously to the " prelection," or lecture, which played a
large part both in school and university instruction. He must
memorize and repeat and recapitulate the lessons imposed on him.
Yet though repression of natural impulse was an essential part of
the system, the discipline of the schools was never harsh. Physical
punishments were rare, and every endeavour was made to make
love of the teacher and the school rather than external coercion
the impelling motive for work. The same thought that was
lavished on the major matters of curriculum was exercised
on the minor conditions of study, to prevent learning being too
burdensome. The hours of study were kept as few as possible
in order to diminish fatigue, and full use was made of emulation
and rewards to render study interesting.

Concerning the excellence of the Jesuit colleges, there has never
been serious question. Even opponents who had no sympathy
with the other activities of the order, and who distrusted the social
effects of its educational work, recognized the Jesuits as masters of
the art of education. The witness borne to this by Lord Bacon at
the beginning of the Seventeenth Century is typical. All that was
best in ancient discipline, he said, " hath been in some sort revived
of late times by the colleges of the Jesuits, of whom, although in
regard of their superstitions I may say, c Quo meliores, eo deteri-
ores,' yet in regard of this and some other points concerning human
learning and moral matters I may say, as Agesilaus said to his
enemy Pharnabazus, c Talis quum sis, utinam noster esses,'
(* They are so good that I wish they were on our side')."* No
doubt the work done in their colleges tended to become formal,
as seems inevitable in any scheme of education predominantly
linguistic; but even in this respect the declension of their schools
never went quite so far as in the corresponding Protestant institu-
tions, partly because of the saving tradition of good pedagogical
methods, partly because Latin, which was the language chiefly in
use in them, continued to be a living speech longer among the
teachers and pupils of an international society than it did in
northern lands. But in course of time the very excellence of the
system proved a serious -weakness. The discouragement of in-
novations, even in matters not immediately affecting religious
faith, resulted in a conservative adherence to methods of education
which had gradually lost their first effectiveness, and prevented
* The Advancement of Learning, L